Monday's a quiet day on the schedule with many sports fans paying attention to the Patriots/Saints game in New Orleans. But there's also the first game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with Penn State visiting Virginia in what should be an even contest. Two of the better players in college basketball who aren't talked about often, PSU's Talor Battle and Virginia's Sylven Landesburg, will face off in Charlottesville with the Big Ten needing a good start in this event. The midwestern conference has never won this challenge and many think that this is the year in which they get the job done, so expect the opener to set the tone for the entire event.
As for other games on the schedule, three ranked teams will play on Monday night including #19 Georgetown hosting Mount St. Mary's. One of the more intriguing games on the slate is Saint Joseph's making the short trek from Philadelphia to Lawrenceville to take on Rider in front of the Broncs' Zoo. Freshman guard Carl Jones has been compared by some within the St. Joe's program to Stephen Curry; if that's accurate he could have a good night in what's considered to be a "shooter's gym". The winner will pick up a good victory for both their individual and conference profile at this point in the season.
7p ESPN2 Penn State @ Virginia
7p ESPN360 UNC Asheville @ #5 Kentucky
7p ESPN360 Colgate @ #9 Syracuse
7:30p MASN Mount St. Mary's @ #19 Georgetown
7p Saint Joseph's @ Rider
7p Canisius @ Eastern Michigan
8p Oakland @ Memphis
10p Saint Mary's @ San Jose St.
Virginia over Penn State: Why pick the Cavaliers in the opener of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge? They're the home team and they've got a number of options in Tony Bennett's new offensive system. Landesburg can get his numbers regardless of the system but it's been a good thing for the complimentary players, including Mike Scott and Mustapha Farrakhan. That will be the difference in Charlottesville.